On February 13, 2018, the Kingdom of Cambodia opened a six-month exclusive event in front of the National Museum to begin weaving the world’s longest krama, as part of a mission to enter the Guinness Book of World Records, an initiative started by Sann Vathana of GoGo Cambodia.  The event serves to highlight the history of the krama, the traditional checkered scarf unique to Khmer culture.

The exhibition is an event for all ages and nationalities looking to learn more about the artistic side of the Khmer culture, and add a few centimeters of their own to the large krama.  The exhibition takes place at the newly refinished Veal Preah Merou park, located in between The Royal Palace and the National Museum. Both sites are a part of the tuk-tuk experience offered here.

At the 1000 meters of Krama festival, cultural and historical educational exhibits are scattered throughout the enclosed shady sanctuary.  There is also a school that teaches the cotton hand spinning profession’s skills and ancient secrets.  You will be mesmerized and humbled by the process of hand spinning, dyeing, and weaving the krama scarf.

Khmer women preparing and spinning cotton

Browse the various handcrafted souvenirs that are for sale including hand spun kramas, totems, t-shirts, and full-size canvas oil paintings from well known Khmer artists.  The prices on the clothing and trinkets for sale are comparable to those at Central or Russian Market but have the distinction of being unique items for this pop-up market.  You can also sit down and enjoy a coffee and baked goods at the new Bread Talk bakery.

Striking attention to detail in both construction design and quality is evident as you stroll along the stone pathway of the exhibition. Along with the craft vendors, you can also enjoy many fruit and beverage vendors along the side of street 178 inside the gated park.

A view of the many stalls selling handmade products

Fine architecture and quality landscaping at this pagoda

At night, the park is lit by trees adorned with lights.  The centrepiece of this King’s Park is lit picturesquely to showcase the incredible detail carved into the statues guarding the corners of the partitioned section which is located prominently at the centre of the park.

Act fast, as the doors will be closing in August 2018!   Don’t miss an opportunity to view both the past and present of Cambodian culture in a modern setting.  Take a moment away from the hustle and bustle of sightseeing or daily life and relax while you watch the time-consuming process of producing unique textiles by hand.

Natural materials used to dye the cotton

For those familiar with the city, the park is located in between Samdach Preah Sokun Meanbon street (178) and Samdach Preah Thaomak Lekhet Ouk street (184) as well as between Preah Ang Eng street (13) and Samdach Sothearos (3) in the Daun Penh section of town near the riverside.  Here is also a link to the map for your convenience.

For more information on things to do in Phnom Penh, please read any of the following blog articles:

Architecture of Phnom Penh

Phnom Penh Photo Guide

Living Like a Local in Phnom Penh